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Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab Holdings agreed a merger on Tuesday with US-based Altimeter Growth Corp in a deal that values Grab at an initial proforma equity value of about US$39.6 billion and will lead to a public listing

The merger, the biggest blank-check company deal ever, underscores the frenzy on Wall Street as shell firms have raised $99 billion in the US so far this year after a record $83 billion fundraising in 2020.

Philip Wiggenraad explains how the deal works and how Grab has gained such global respect.

Singapore-based Grab’s agreement with a special purpose acquisition company backed by Altimeter Capital includes a more than $4 billion private investment in public equity by investors including BlackRock, Fidelity International, Janus Henderson Investors and Temasek Holdings.

Grab said its decision to become a public company was driven by strong financial performance in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Reuters earlier reported that Grab would announce the deal on Tuesday.

  • Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Mike Harrison, of Reuters.

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